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Petty • 135 mm • 70 layers Coreless VG10/VG2 with precious finish • Japanese O handle • for both right and left handed use
The Houenryu is the absolute high end series from Ryusen. Finished immaculate in every detail and constructed by combining modern technique with craftmanship. This Houenryu is not comparable to any other knife you have seen before.
Yosegi literally means "combining wood" and it's characterized by the geometric figures of the wood, as seen here on the handle. The patterns are not painted, but constructed by a special technique of layered wood combined. The surface of this combined wood is thinly scraped of and glued on the handle, so after a drying and polishing process, a pattern appears.
This rain drop Damascus pattern clearly indicates the level of experience of the knifemaker. 70 layers of the Damascus steel, constructed out of VG2 and VG10, also known as honyaki VG2\VG10. Normally a layered steel is constructed out of an uneven amount of layers, where the core steel indicates quality of the knife. Here, VG2 and VG10 are forged throughout the whole blade and will get dull differently on the cutting edge. This way the knife will maintain its 'bite sharpness" for a long period.
By polishing the blade for a longer period, the layered steel will get more depth and will intensify the cutting edge and will intensely enhance sharpness for an even longer period.
Urushi lacquering is a technique done by a few selected craftsmen in the region of Echizen. The Urushi tree, which grows in this region, produces a few milliliters of epoxy/ lacquer a year. By warming up the lacquer and colouring it, it can be used for lacquering. The lacquering has to be done in a protected environment, as the urushi lacquer can cause an allergic reaction. The best painting quality can be reached by using soft baby hair on the brush. Echizen is famous for this craft and Ryusen uses this skill with much respect in their handles.
When I started sharpening knives, I sometimes got hold of a very special model, probably imported by a customer themselves. A Ryusen knife was one of them. To precisely measure the quality of steel, there is no better measure than the actual manual sharpening of a knife: Ryusen belongs to the absolute top in the world of handmade Japanese kitchen knives.
Until some time ago, Ryusen made various models on OEM base in Echizen, but recently they focus entirely on their own company. Ryusen has spent a lot of time researching in the field of manufacturing (forging, hardening, grinding and finishing), as well as receiving feedback from the professional end user. Their dedication, perseverance and only settling for the very best ensure that every knife is perfectly finished and meets the highest requirements of a completely handmade chef's knife. The complete process from forging to the design of the box is carried out by Ryusen in-house. I am very proud to be an importer and a reliable distributor for Ryusen.